I have to sell some of my valuable belongings and make money, I have two options. I can put them up on display, create word of mouth, probably post photographs on the Internet, even let people touch them, test-use them so that they are valued better. Or else, because law allows me to do so, I will keep them locked up in the basement of my house. Only once somebody (somehow) discovers that I have something he/she might want to have, and pays full price for it, shall I let it out and hand it over to the interested person.
For some reason that authors and publishers of the world find the latter route more beneficial. I am unable to keep track of all the suits against Google for Google Print initiative – almost all claiming violation of copyright laws.
I am no lawyer. Don’t know whether or not the law is being violated. But if I were in their place, I would rather spend my time and energy figuring out how to make the best use of this Google Service to promote my books, which would have gone unnoticed by most of the people in the world… And of course, protecting against misuse is important. So, I would rather have figured out the ways in which any potential misuse could be prevented, tried to go for appropriate negotiations and implement them. The reaction of all these associations of authors and publishers strikes to me as dumb! But then it has all started in the US, right? Akio Morita was not fool to make fun of the effort, resources, time and energy US corporations waste on lawyers and lawsuits!!
Come on people! I want some information, and am ready to pay for a suitable book, but how many books can I manually browse, or how many books can be even recommended to me by people around me? Any day, they will be limited in number in comparison to all that is available in the form of books. Don’t know what treasure is lying in some obscure book lying in some corner of one of the libraries. If programmes like this go well, I shall be able to locate a book of choice, no matter how obscure it is. This is such a wonderful opportunity to reach out to your audience and you want to stifle that. Hah! Some amount technology and business literacy is the need of the hour for these in-awe-of-new-things skeptics.